THE HISTORIAN'S SPOTLIGHT
Harold and David Lane
T hose of us involved with Law Enforcement, in particular policing, understand the impact that having a relative “on the job” may have on one’s own future when it comes to deciding a career path. For many, no second thought is given to entering the force if raised in a police family. I believe that although family tradition does play a role in selecting such a career, following the model of serving others is, by far and away, the main reason we chose a career in policing. Harold and David Lane are a father and son who reflect such decisions. Harold was born in the City of Pittsburgh, where his family resided until he was 12 years old, when they moved to the Bor- ough of Castle Shannon about seven miles away. Harold describes his father as “an auto body man” who, through all of his working years, put in an eight hour day and worked on cars in the evening to help pay the bills. His mother was a home maker who kept busy managing the home and raising three children. He remembers his childhood with fondness reflecting on growing up in that area was fun, due to the neighborhood being comprised of baby boomers with large families and local schools that were all within walking distance. Having so many children in the community, it wasn’t difficult to find things to do. Though Harold did not have any family members in law enforcement, he says that he enjoyed watching the local officers on daily patrol and over time learned what they did. He viewed the work as a challenging career, and decided that he wanted to give a try. Harold started his law enforcement career in 1971 at the age of 22 when he joined the Castle Shannon Police Borough Department as a Patrol Officer. During his tenure in Castle Shan- non he worked as a patrol officer, shift supervisor and in 1992 was promoted to Chief of Police, a rank that he held until his retire- ment in 2009. In 1988 while working his way up through the ranks of the Department, he entered the Community College of Allegh- eny County where he received an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Personnel Administration. From there he continued his studies at Point Park University earning his four year degree in Criminal Justice. After retiring from the Police Department in 2009, he moved on to work for the Allegheny District Attorney’s Office as an Inspec- tor in the Investigations Unit. Still employed, Harold has been in charge of the Crime Scene Unit, Intelligence Branch and Vehicular Homicide Units. In addition, he reports to the District Attorney ad- dressing issues in high crime areas. Harold attended National Academy Session 186 from July 3 through September 13, 1996. Of the classes he attended he be- lieves that the Personnel Management and Interrogation classes were two that were most beneficial. Of the fitness portion of the Academy, Harold says “staying in top shape and taking advantage
of every part of the Physical Fitness program helped to maintain my motivation and provided a challenge.” In fact, Harold spent much of his free time out and about on the base working on his personal fitness. Harold did not find being away from home overly challenging because his family understood his passion for the profession and wholly supported him not only during his time at Quantico, but throughout his career. After returning from the Academy Harold became and remains active in the Western PA Chapter. Harold’s future plans include “... resting and enjoying my family.” He feels he has missed a lot of family time due to his ca- reer. He and his wife Dawn plan to relax and enjoy their children and grand-children’s successes. He believes that “It’s a new world for younger people in our profession and I can say that I have been blessed with a great career, many experiences and accomplishments. It will be fairly soon, but you need to get out while you’re on top. To stretch is to gamble.” David Lane was born and raised in Castle Shannon, Pennsyl- vania; the Borough is a bedroom community of Pittsburgh. It’s a community where older kids and younger kids know each other from participating in local sporting events and school events. Dave commented that his dad was well liked and respected in the community as a police officer. He loved hearing stories about work from his dad and the other officers in the Department. He knew as he entered High School that he wanted to carry on the tradition and become a police officer, too. In 1988, Dave enrolled in Allegheny County Community College following his father’s path to earn a degree in Criminal Justice. After graduating, his first police job was as a part-time officer in Port Vue Borough where he worked as a patrol officer. In 1993, with his father as a mentor, Dave was hired by the Castle Shannon Borough Police Department as a patrol officer. In 2001 he was promoted to Sergeant, a rank he held until 2012 when he was promoted to his current rank of Lieutenant.
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